WORCESTERSHIRE opened their Division Two LV=Insurance County Championship season with a frustrating draw as Leicestershire opener Hassan Azad ensured the hosts drew their match at the Uptonsteel County Ground.

Josh Baker did damage with the ball on the final day as he took four wickets to record career best figures but Azad scored a century to eventually get his side over the line.

The Pears took five wickets in the first session to set them up for a comfortable afternoon but six hours at the crease and 280 balls faced saw Leicestershire’s opener admirably bat out the final stages before the game was declared a draw.

The day had started with Worcestershire declaring overnight on 234/5 after a debut century from Ed Pollock had put the hosts in the driving seat after bowling Leicestershire out for 213 in reply to Worcestershire’s first innings score of 348.

The morning saw five wickets taken as Charlie Morris took the first wicket of Sam Evans before Ed Barnard caught George Rhodes off Dillon Pennington in the 12th over.

Baker then took two wickets in the 26th over to reduce the hosts to 76/4.

Baker had a third when bowling Harry Swindells for a duck before lunch.

Pollock caught Ben Mike for 9 at 101/6 in the 40th over as Leicestershire started to wobble and when Baker got his fourth to see the hosts at 122/7, it looked almost certain that the win was in the bag.

Azad was ticking along and making it hard work for the bowlers but at the other end, Callum Parkinson fell for 14 as Azhar Ali secured his first wicket for his new club.

Azad reached his 100 in the 85th over to push Leicestershire over 200 and then proved too stubborn a man to get past as Worcestershire were forced to settle with a draw.